Whatsapp updates T&Cs as it prepares to open up to enterprise market

Whatsapp, Facebook

Whatsapp has updated its terms of service and privacy policy as it looks to make good on a promise to give the enterprise market access to its customer base.

The Facebook-owned company ditched subscription fees in January and said it would look to monetise its messaging service by allowing businesses to communicate with subscribers.

To enable it to do so, the company has updated its terms of service and privacy policy for the first time in four years.

Precise details of what it plans to do remain vague, but it said order, transaction and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, as well as marketing were examples of the type of communication customers could expect to have with businesses down the line.

Whatsapp said it plans to test these features “in the next several months”.

“We do not want you to have a spammy experience; as with all of your messages, you can manage these communications, and we will honour the choices you make,” it said in a blog post.

Further, the updates reflect a closer relationship with its Facebook parent.

Whatsapp customers will see their phone number “connected” with Facebook's systems to enable the social media company to “offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them”.

It said it would also be able to track basic metrics about how often people use the service and better fight spam.

The updated privacy documents also make clear that the service has rolled out end-to-end encryption.

“Encrypted messages stay private and no one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else,” Whatspap wrote on its blog.

“We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won't sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers.

“Our belief in the value of private communications is unshakeable, and we remain committed to giving you the fastest, simplest, and most reliable experience on WhatsApp.”

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